Why You Should Follow The Container Concept When Organizing Your Small Home

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When seeking out organizing advice, you've probably heard that you should pick up each item and ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?" If it doesn't, you should get rid of it, but if it does, you can keep it. However, while this phrase from organizer Marie Kondo can be helpful for those with a large home, this may not be the best mindset to have in a small space. What happens when everything brings joy but there's just not enough room? Luckily, there's an organization method that will revolutionize decluttering a small space: the container concept. Created by the author of "Decluttering at the Speed of Life," Dana K. White, this idea says that you should limit your items based on if they fit inside their container or not. This will help you pare down your belongings and contain them, therefore keeping your small home well-organized.

To follow the container concept, you'll first need to choose the right container for your space, whether it be a bin, shelf, or drawer. Next, determine what to store inside the container and collect that item from around your home. Finally, fill the container one item at a time, starting with your most favorite to next favorite and continuing until the space is full. Avoid cramming things into the space — they should comfortably fit and be easy to remove. Consequently, everything that doesn't fit is the least favorite and should be donated. Then, when you buy something new, use the one in, one out rule.

Benefits of the container concept for small homes

The container concept is so crucial for small homes because it keeps the space from overflowing with belongings. By limiting the amount of items you can keep within a set boundary, you'll ensure that your home doesn't become cluttered. Furthermore, this concept will also prevent you from buying too many items. If you buy something new, you'll have to get rid of something you already have. This will cause you to critically think about if the new item is worth donating something you already have or if you can make do with what you own.

It's also important to consider that your small home itself acts like a container. Instead of cramming your limited space full of lots of furniture and bulky items, prioritize making it functional. Keep in mind that you and your family's comfort should be more important than holding onto items that simply don't fit in your square footage.

Additionally, the solution is never to get another container, especially when you have a small home — in fact, too many organizational bins and baskets could be hampering your lifestyle. This is because the large amount of containers simply won't fit inside your limited space. You should also keep this in mind when considering that your home itself is a container. Instead of buying another space like a storage unit to hold what furniture doesn't fit, declutter and organize your belongings until the space is as useful as possible.

Examples of how to use the container concept in your home

The container concept is so useful because it can help you organize just about everything you own. For instance, try applying it to your book collection. First, get the right container, aka a bookcase that fits well in the space. If you have a really small home, you may need to choose a smaller bookshelf than the average person. Then, collect all the books you own and fill the bookcase with your favorites until it's full — the rest of the books should get donated. If you buy a new book in the future, you'll need to switch it out for another one on the shelf. Also try applying this to the mugs in your kitchen cabinet, the clothes in your closet, the pens in your home office drawer, and the perfumes under your bathroom sink.

This concept can also be especially beneficial when getting rid of sentimental items. It changes the question from "Does this item have value?" to "Does this item fit inside its container?" This can make it much easier to get rid of things that you may have felt guilty about parting with in the past. Once you've considered all your containers and gotten rid of whatever didn't fit, your space should have much less stuff in it, ensuring that you truly maximize the storage space in your small home.